Employee Retention Strategies for 2014 and Beyond

December 13, 2013

The holidays can be an especially stressful time of year for small business owners. Managing multiple holiday time off requests, determining next year’s budget, navigating personal holiday issues, and conducting annual performance reviews are just a few of the demands owners face during this time of year.

Business owners should also be mindful of the possibility of employee turnover, which can spike in a new year. Some employees will finish the current year just to receive their annual bonuses. But, a new year is generally considered the best time for new opportunities and employees often use this time to seek perceived greener pastures.

This, in conjunction with an improving economic condition that has employees testing the waters for new opportunities, can leave businesses and employers in a lurch, especially when it is a top employee who is considering other opportunities.

How do today’s successful businesses retain their best employees, who may be fielding competitive offers or searching for new opportunities? Below are 10 tips employers should consider when developing a solid employee retention strategy:

  • Offer a competitive employee benefits package that includes health care, dental, vision and prescription drug plans, as well as other components such as a 401(k) savings plan and disability and life insurance. If you already offer these plans, consider incorporating an additional benefit, such as assistance with daycare costs, a parking subsidy or tuition assistance.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to develop and grow professionally by offering access to internal and external training sessions, mentoring programs and team building activities, all of which can help employees develop professionally and become a more tight-knit and cohesive group.
  • Make it clear to employees that their contributions are vital to the company’s success. Seek out and listen to their ideas and feedback, they want respect and acknowledgment.
  • Establish career paths so that employees can advance within the company, providing opportunities for promotion or cross-training to help keep them challenged.
  • Reward employees for a job well done, and share their successes with others on the team. Decide what kind of performance to recognize, how it should be rewarded and how to communicate that reward. Employee recognition directly affects individual performance and the company’s bottom line.
  • Look for and implement ways to have fun in the workplace -- merriment doesn’t have to hinder efficiency. In fact, there have been studies to show that it can complement productivity.
  • Encourage creative brainstorming to overcome challenges or roadblocks.
  • Allow employees to balance their work and personal lives by being flexible in scheduling, making sure to treat everyone fairly.
  • Set clear expectations of employees, establishing and communicating standards of performance, conducting regular reviews and linking compensation to ongoing performance.
  • Offer praise individually, but also publicly, recognizing hard work and creativity. Conversely, deliver constructive criticism in private. No one wants to be dressed down in front of co-workers.

Many of these tactics can be easily implemented, and may seem obvious, but they are frequently overlooked. Creating a comprehensive employee retention strategy helps employers ensure their workforce is happy and productive, reduce turnover, and encourage business success.

This article was co-written by Eric Bonugli and Kay Oder.

Eric Bonugli is a district manager and Kay Oder is a Certified Business Performance Advisor for Insperity located in the company’s Austin office. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit http://www.insperity.com

Topics: Content Type

Kay Oder


Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2016 revenues of $2.9 billion, Insperity operates in 61 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.

Read more articles from Kay Oder

Guide to Business Borrowing

Learn what banks are looking for when they prepare to make loans. Our guide covers what business owners need to know when they prepare to borrow.


Download eBook